Question from Kristy P.: I super struggle with the personal category. I have no clue how to “budge” that. I’d love a post just on what that looks like for you guys over a few month period. One month my “personal” category may be super low, the next month it may be WAY high. Do you seriously have every purchase within a year essentially planned out considering you “spend your money before you have it”?
This is such a great question. I remember when we started budgeting and feeling so overwhelmed with every little expense that came along. It was just one more thing we had to make room for on the budget. It’s exhausting, sometimes, and frustrating. And there is so much that goes into the “personal” category that it often catches the “unexpected” items that come up.
Side note: 22.1% of our money is spent on “personal” items, such as hair care, toiletries, date night, child care, babysitters, cosmetics, school tuition and supplies, education, tutoring, child support, allowance for children, subscriptions, organization dues, gifts (including Christmas), blow money, weddings, and miscellaneous charges. We don’t use all of those line items, and lots of them can be anticipated, but not always.
I can’t pinpoint when budgeting for personal items became easier, but I can say that it does get easier with experience. Or maybe we just got better at saying no to ourselves. Like anything, the more time you spend on budgeting the easier it will become. I was shocked at how easy our financial transition was when Kelsey started her new job recently. It sounds like a big budgeting nightmare, but it really wasn’t that big of a deal. We’ve gotten pretty good at anticipating and budgeting for the unexpected.